Release Date: 01 May 2002
One of the major intellectual debates inside and outside the historical profession at the beginning of the new century concerns the status of accounts of the past. Can historians tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth? Do they discover or invent, construct or reconstruct the objects they study? This volume provides a collective reflection by historians, as a contribution to the debates about knowledge in the 'postmodern' age. This discussion resembles one that was in progress a hundred years ago - is history a science (as Bury claimed) or an art (as Trevelyan asserted)? The recent debate has been particularly lively in France and in the USA. It is therefore appropriate that a group of historians from Britain should now engage with this subject, in one of a series of volumes celebrating the British Academy's own centenary in 2002. The essays present a historical and critical overview of historical thought and writing since 1900, focusing on selected major topics - whether periods (such as the Middle Ages), regions (such as 'the Orient'), disciplines (art history, historiography, historical demography), or themes (nation, class, disease, gender).
This challenging volume will intrigue anyone interested in the process of history writing.
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